Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jordan's December Training

December 28

Quads were feeling the intensity of yesterday's hammer-fest, so warmed up for 45 minutes while watching Episode 1 of BSG. I frakin' miss that show. Then it was off to spin class for another 45 minutes of riding with my students.

On a related note, I passed my Level 3 coaching exam and once USA Cycling processes all the paperwork, I will be a certified coach! Hopefully I can start writing off many of my cycling-related expenses as business expenses (and my training room as a home office). Huzzah!

December 27

Sounds like the team had an awesome epic ride. Wish I could have been there with you guys. I'll be keeping tabs on the group rides and try to make a surprise visit if I have the time.

My ride was short but incredibly intense. I went out and hit the local "Six Hills" ride for some serious work on the 1-2 minute hill attacks. Set a new 60 second power-to-weight PR with 8.26 W/kg. Peak 60-minute normalized power was 349 watts. Based on my 20-minute AP of 345 W and this 60-minute NP, I think it's time to power up and increase the FTP to 330 watts. Of course that means less training stress for the same amount of work...

December 24-26
  • 12/24 - Time to work off yesterday's indulgences. 10 min W/U, then 100 minutes of sweet spot tempo, starting @ 265 W, building over time, and finishing with about 9 minutes @ 325 watts. 10 min C/D. Excellent workout!
  • 12/25 - Another day off, visiting the in-laws. More food and fun!
  • 12/26 - 10 min W/U, then 60 minutes divided into 3 x 20-minutes [with 20-second accelerations (+10-15 rpm) every 5 min]. First rep: 265W @ 95 rpm - a typical low tempo pace. 2nd rep: shift down and drop to 90rpm to bring power up to about 285W. Final rep: go for broke (no gear or cadence restrictions), which turned out to be 345W. 10 min C/D. Fun-time is over.
One more full week off until school starts back means a great opportunity to do lots of volume next week and get the weight back on track.

December 20-23
  • 12/20 - 160.1 lbs - The best way to do 2 hours on a trainer? Invite your buddy over to share in the misery. Sunday's 12" of snow precluded an outdoor ride, so after spending 2 hours shoveling the driveway, my buddy Rob, a sprint triathlete, came over and we did a solid 2 hours of L2/L3 together. Great to catch up with him!
  • 12/21 - The snow shoveling did a number on my back, and it's a "rest" week, so just an hour's ride today. 15 min warm-up, then a 30-minute race effort (Stage 3 of the Expresso Tournament), then a 15-minute cool-down.
  • 12/22 - Another shorter ride, though the power for this ride was 270-310W, so definitely an upper L3/ lower L4 style ride. Taking tomorrow and Christmas Day off this week, so figured a little extra juice wouldn't kill me.
  • 12/23 - 159.2 lbs - Traveling to see my little nephew today - day off! May do 1 or 2 FI's if my brother-in-law exerts enough peer pressure on me!
December 19

A longer effort today but at reduced intensity. 10 min W/U, then 90 min L3 (240-280 W), and a 15 min C/D. 2 hours made easier by watching Voeckler defend yellow in the 2004 TdF.

December 18

Your typical vanilla sweet spot tempo ride today. While I am committed to training indoors, I still don't love it, but that has the benefit of pushing me to go a bit higher on the watts to meet the TSS goal ASAP. Started at about 260 and built up to around 305, then did about 6.5 minutes at 330 to finish it off.

December 17

Stage 2 of the Expresso Bike Tournament, a 6.33-mile ride on mildly rolling terrain through what I think was supposed to be Tuscany or some other part of Italy (the Vespa scooters gave it away). I had the best time for the first stage, so I was confident that I would be able to grab another stage win. I finished my warm-up and then raced the stage as hard as I could. Managed an 18:16 (20.8 mph) @ 275 watts. Was hoping to break 18 min, but riding faster than 20 mph gets quite hard on this machine, I've noticed.

December 16

Put in a solid 83 minutes on the trainer. 6 minutes warming up, then 60 min of sweet spot tempo at 300 W. Then finished off with an easy 15 minute progressive cool-down from L3 down to L1 to burn a few more calories (1400 for the whole shebang). Glad I have been able to get in some longer workouts at the beginning of the week, since my weekends have been hectic, and this weekend will probably be no exception.

December 10-15

Man, the days are flying by, it'll be 2010 before you know it. The past few days have been tough weight-wise, while I hit my goal weight on Friday morning, the increase in social eating events over the weekend made it a brief achievement at best. Gotta keep thinking long-term and stick with the plan. The last five days in review:
  • 12/10 - The YMCA is having a 3-stage tournament on the new Expresso bikes (think the Tacx virtual trainer simulation on a gym bike, with clipless pedals, buttons to shift gears, and steering). So after a warm-up, I went all-out for the first stage this week, a 2.35 mile prologue. 6:14 (22.6 mph) @ 326 watts (it reads low, I'm certain of that, it felt a lot more like 350 W!) - that puts me in the lead by 61 seconds. Cooled down with some L2 riding.
  • 12/11 - 160.1 lbs. Been on the bike a lot recently, so decided to cross-train on the treadmill today. Hiked at a 3.6 mph pace with the grade at 13% for about 90 minutes. Great way to burn the calories while resting the cycling muscles.
  • 12/12 - Weather turned out to be great, so went out for a 50-miler today. Absolutely crushed the first hour with a NP of 326 watts! Was able to ride the remaining 1.5 hours solidly in the L3 range and finished with an intensity factor of 95% of FTP. A fantastic hard workout - glad I took a day off from riding on Friday!
  • 12/13 - After Saturday's awesome effort, took the day off to recover. Deserved and needed it - without the rest, you never get any stronger!
  • 12/14 - Pressed for time today, so hopped on the trainer before spin class, warmed up for about 10 minutes, and then rode a 20-minute FTP interval @ 325 watts. Spin class was 45 minutes of L3 riding with 10-second sprints every 3 minutes. Fun!
  • 12/15 - An enjoyable 55 minutes of L3 riding @ 240-260 watts, followed by the usual 30-minute spinning class comprised of jumps, accelerations, and some climbing efforts.

December 1-9

Off to a bit of a late start this month with the training updates, but here's the story thus far:
  • 12/1: 162.3 lbs. 40 min, indoors, at the YMCA. The bike said 320W, but that's unlikely. Probably more like 290.
  • 12/2: 68 min indoors. Warmed up then shifted to the 53x21 and downshifted every 15 minutes while maintaining cadence. 220W at start, 290W at finish. Good tempo work.
  • 12/3: 60 min indoors. 5 min W/U, then 50 min @ 280-320W steady state, 5 min C/D. Noticing that power is not dropping off but is actually increasing as the workout progresses.
  • 12/4: 161.8 lbs. 75 min, indoors. After warm-up, started at 220 W in a fixed gear and gradually built power up to about 295 W by the end just with increased cadence.
  • 12/5: 66 min, indoors. 5 min W/U, then 12 x 30sec @ 550-650W w/ 4:30 rest. Did first six seated, then last six standing. Able to do about 30W more standing.
  • 12/6: 161.4 lbs. 97 min outdoors. Able to get outside before church and enjoy a cold but beautiful day. Unstructured L2-L3 riding (upper E).
This week has been front-loaded because it looked like the weekend weather was going to be quite crappy. Now Saturday is looking much better, so a rest or recovery ride day may be in order before then.
  • 12/7: 86 min, 40 min @ home, 46 min @ YMCA. Rode steady tempo for a while at home before heading to the YMCA to teach spin class - neuromuscular sprint work and high-cadence drills.
  • 12/8: 77 min, 45 min @ home, 37 min @ YMCA. Another dose of SST riding on the trainer, then 35 minutes of climbing intervals for spin class.
  • 12/9: 77 min, indoors. Another SST day, trying to get the most base-building benefit for the limited time available on Wednesdays.


  1. Jordan, your power # look great, keep up the good work

  2. Holy Watts Batman! Your dedication is humbling.

  3. I've been following the BWR training schedules looking for something to use to take a break from my Coach Troy on the road dvd. (hopefully some new ones for Christmas), I like the 12/2 entry you have. I've been trying to work on my cadence which I think is ok(for a non racer) at 53x17(85ish on the road and the trainer with tension at 1) but suffers as I work down.
    I have a question. While starting out 53x21 did you apply any resistance as you were working your way down through the cassette?
    I know the blog site isn't a traininng help site but I thought I would ask.
    A different Steve.

  4. If I could jump into the conversation Steve...For 230 watts to start with, there must some initial resistance applied to the wheel. That of course depends on the unit you are using and the tension is different across the board. His cadence remained the same and it must have been enough(just enough) to stay in his upper tempo ranges all the way up to 290watts. Jordan, you want to add to that? Great question Steve(H?) and we struggle and learn in this way. Great to have the interest. When will we see you for a ride?

  5. Bill, thanks for the follow up. Friday gave the routine an initial try. Warmed up then I did the 53x21 for 15 at 90. Then 53x19 for 15 @ 85-90. Then 53x17 for 15 at 80-85. My knee started complaining so I had to cool down and ended 15 early. I think I like the progression and will try it again this evening. I think I have found a goal to shoot for. May need to schedule a Dr. Appt. for another shot for the knee. Seems to be bothering me more and it has been a year and a half since the last one.
    Yes it's Steve H.
    I'd love to ride with you guys but the lack of cold riding gear keeps me on the fluid trainer til April. Maybe in the spring.

  6. I should mention that I have a 10 speed 23-12 cassette in the back, so my progression is 53x21, 53x19, 53x18, then 53x17 on a Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer. You may wish to start in the 53x23 if 53x17 is hard enough.

    By "maintaining cadence" I mean that average cadence stayed in what is my self-selected range of 85-95 rpm (87-92 rpm for this workout). The first shift is about 30 watts increase, then about 10-15 watts for each one after that. Cadence fell about 2 rpm with each shift.

  7. Thanks for your support and best wishes to you for happy holidays. I am hoping that Santa will bring me more cold weather gear. I don't have your dedication to train indoors.

  8. Jordan, when will we see you ?

  9. Jack - Looking forward to seeing you at the team camp for sure!

  10. Alas, there was only Michelob Ultra in the house, so I decided it wasn't worth it. Instead I must have easily eaten my weight in delicious home-made appetizers and desserts!